6 exercises for building muscle without equipment

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Here’s how to build muscle and get fit in the comfort of your own home, no special gear required.

You may think you need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment to build muscle and workout effectively, but results are possible just by using your own body weight. With that in mind, here are six exercises that will have you building muscle and looking great in no time — sans equipment:

1. Running or walking

No expensive treadmill or elliptical needed, just your own two legs and a good pair of running shoes. “If you focus 80 percent of your energy on cardio, you will see your body transform,” says Ashley Marriott, a Los Angeles-based fitness trainer and coauthor with Dr. Marc Paulsen of “Dump your Trainer.”

“Look at runners and cyclists; they’re not doing spot training, they do cardio, cardio, cardio,” says Marriott. “Most of the people you see in mags that have amazing abs, they’re runners, swimmers, athletes; they are not doing a bunch of crunches. How they got so lean? Their diet is clean, and they get a tremendous amount of calorie expenditure in their cardio.”

Marriott is a huge advocate of one trick: when you do cardio work, pull your navel into your core. Even as you walk or run, don’t just focus on the cardio, think about your abs and pull them in. You’ll see increased strength from that.

To do: Try walking at a quick clip or running a slow jog for 15 to 30 minutes to start. Add in increments of 5 to 10 minutes weekly.

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